Loktionov talks Hextall, Kozun and other Kings prospects

Loktionov preseason goal (photo: M. Zampelli)

The Russians are coming. It’s the story that’s dominated the Kings headlines in most places the last few days.

Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov, both drafted by the Kings in the 2008 NHL Draft, were recalled from Manchester (AHL) in separate transactions about 24 hours apart.

Following practice yesterday, we spoke one-on-one with Voynov (posted earlier today) and then Loktionov, who arrived in LA just a day before his Russian comrade.

Back in the minors, Loktionov had gotten off to a quick start, scoring three goals in the Monarchs first five games. Since then, he’s gone twelve games without a goal. However, he still left the AHL as the teams top point producer, largely behind his 11 assists (which are more than double any other player on the team).

Here’s what the 21-year old forward had to say…

Ron Hextall, Kings Assistant GM (who also serves as the Monarchs GM), called him on Sunday morning to let him know the Kings were calling him up to the NHL.

– Regarding his recent lack of production in Manchester – “We changed linemates after only one week. I was playing with Marc-Andre Cliche and Jordan Nolan. Then, Cliche moved to play center. Then, they moved Brandon Kozun (to my line).”

– On playing with Kozun and Nolan – “I like playing with both. Kozun’s faster and he’s physical. We need both. Nolan can win a battle for the puck in an offensive zone. Kozun’s fast though. Just give the puck to him and he will drive.”

– On playing with Dustin Brown in LA – “I like playing with Brownie. He can make some plays, give you a pass and he’s just a good player. He can find you anywhere (on the ice).”

– On playing wing again, after previously saying he preferred to play center – “I can play wing, I think so. I played 15 games there last year. So, this year, I think it should be easier for me.”

The one thing he made clear and didn’t any need help translating, he’s just happy to be back in NHL. Very happy!

Click here to read comments from the conversation with Voynov.

Coach Murray talked about Loktionov’s role on the second line here

Or, to get ready for the big Kings-Ducks game tonight, click here to read the Pregame Primer – includes notes on Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and more.  That article also includes details on how you could win a free t-shirt in tonight’s ‘Final Score’ contest.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.